Automatic Placements: For FB Advertisers That Want to Maximize Performance Regardless of the Channel the Ad is Served On

Mike Opera
By Mike Opera

Running Facebook ads and looking to achieve the best bang for your buck?

Automatic Placements ensures that your ads will serve on Facebook’s various networks, IE: Audience Network or Instagram, to achieve your most desired result based off the bidding objective you choose.

This is great for advertisers running cross-device strategies and looks at the customer journey flow to best achieve the end result. Whether that’s driving leads, purchases, etc.

So…What Are Automatic Placements?

Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s Facebook’s definition:

“Your ads will automatically be shown to your audience in the places they’re likely to perform best. For this feature, placements may include Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.”

And here’s what it looks like under the “Ad Set” level in the engine.

Well this seems like a no-brainer? Why wouldn’t we use this feature based off what its saying it can do?

Why Have We Not Used Automatic Placements Historically Speaking?

We initially avoided opting into automatic placements. Why? Well because we were scarred from thedang audience network. You can see what happens when you used to use automatic placements.

…When we had initially opted into automatic placements for our clients, we quickly killed those tests. Automatic Placements didn’t necessarily drive improved performance from a simple numbers perspective AND for our lead generation clients it typically drove poor lead quality

But Facebook has made a big point to combat this issue and we’ve started to see some steps being taken to right their issues.

 

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…Why We Need to Use Them Now

  • Facebook’s algorithm, much like Google, wants you to play to their game and rules
  • These rules are created with the intention of creating the best user experience possible
  • And to create the best user experience, Facebook wants to ensure to serve the right ad at the right time

So if you’re competing against someone with a bigger budget than you in the ad auction, if they aren’t optimized for automatic placements, you will have a much better chance to compete.

Remember: Objective Is EVERYTHING

The one massive part of setting up your automatic placement campaigns is the objective. If you’re bidding on Page Post Engagements or Traffic, you’re going to drive people that’s most likely to like an add or click. If you’re looking to drive purchases or leads, you shouldn’t contaminate your retargeting cookie pools with those objectives.

…If you’re looking to drive traffic: Bid On Conversions and Optimize for View Content. This will drive higher quality traffic because if the “view content” standard event fires, that means they read a good delay of the page as opposed to instantly bouncing. This will help avoid misclicks and poor quality traffic.

…If you’re looking to generate a SPECIFIC type of purchase or lead… or more of a “response”, then it’s very important to set up specific conversion events based off the product.

Related:How to Optimize Facebook Ads

For example, setting up a specific purchase or lead event for a particular product and optimizing for conversions off of that. This is great if you’re trying to increase average order value by pushing a specific product… or maybe you’re looking to clear inventory… or to try and generate a specific lead type.

Creative Tactics

What’s great about Automatic Placements now, is that we can have specific Instagram sizing if we log into our Instagram account.

It’s no secret that Instagram and Facebook appeals to a different mindset, and even audience. Instagram ads should be more photo and lifestyle oriented.

Related: Who Can You Target With Facebook Ads

If you select automatic placements and link your Instagram account, swap out your image that serves on Audience Network and Facebook with one that fits Instagram for that specific placement.

Wrapping Up

If you’re hesitant to opt into Automatic Placements, I totally get it. And chances are, if you do opt in, you’re not going to get the results you want if you don’t understand how it works.

Always ask yourself: What’s the goal of this particular campaign? What’s the objective I need to bid on to make this align with my goal? If you get that part right, everything should fall into place.

What’s your thoughts? What results have you seen with Automatic Placements?

 

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